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May seemed to be a popular time for cyberattacks. The Department Of Homeland Security (DHS) found itself on the receiving end this year after third-party software used on its network contained vulnerabilities that were exploited, exposing a number of employees' personal data.
The DHS said that information include names, Social security numbers and dates of birth were potentially accessed. In a statement, the agency said:
" At the direction of DHS, the vulnerability was immediately addressed. While there is no evidence that any unauthorized user accessed any personally identifiable information, out of abundance of caution, DHS is alerting employees and individuals who received a DHS clearance, of the potential vulnerability and outlining ways that they can protect themselves."
Yahoo! has a 35 percent stake in the company.
In June, the most high-profile data breach occured: catastrophic for the agency involved, and a catalyst for the subsequent media frenzy and outrage of the U.S. general public. Edward Snowden, a former contractor of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), leaked confidential documents to The Guardian and Washington Post, before going on the run and eventually entering Russian territory.
The contractor quietly, over time, saved copies of confidential documents that documented the NSA's monitoring and spying activities at home and abroad. Documents are still steadily being released in to the public sphere, and as a result, the debate over governmental reach has been brought into the spotlight. Not only this, but the NSA revelations have impacted on international relationships between the U.S. and other countries.
LinkedIn, Last.fm, eHarmony
In June, LinkedIn, Last.fm, and eHarmony were all subject to user passwords being leaked online, where a hacker posted the files on forums asking for help in cracking them.
The eight million hashed passwords posted appear to belong to the professional social network, music streaming site and dating service.
All posted over several days, the biggest list of 6.46 million passwords was believed to belong to LinkedIn, and were not 'salted' -- which makes cracking hash lists faster and easier. In a blog post, LinkedIn later confirmed that some of the data did relate to user passwords -- and emails were then sent asking users to reset their details.